Greetings, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena , California . My name is Todd Barber. I'm the lead propulsion engineer on the Cassini mission to Saturn, here with your report from the ringed planet. On October 9 th , Cassini flew by Saturn's intriguing moon Titan --a north polar pass using radar looking for those enigmatic hydrocarbon lakes. You don't even have to be a scientist to appreciate the kind of great images we saw from this flyby, including a lake that looks a lot like Lake Powell . This might be familiar to anyone that's gone boating in the western part of the United States . However, before you do your boating on Titan, be sure to bring your parka. It's 290 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Least there it would be very easy to fill up the gas tank. You just pull your fuel right out of the liquid hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. We also found a lake that has a long drainage channel leading into it, as you can see in this image. We're preparing for our next Titan flyby, a mere 16 days after the last one. On October 25, 2006, we'll be flying very near the Titan equator. This is a very different flyby. We don't expect to see lakes in this part of Titan, we haven't seen them before. However, we do expect many other science results including looking for hotspots – subsurface geological activity on Titan, as well as lightening in the atmosphere. Primarily though, this Titan flyby is all about infrared science using an infrared camera to measure the composition of the Titan surface, including the crazy sand dunes that we see all over Titan. One thing is for sure, this sand is very unlike any sands we see on planet Earth. This is Todd Barber from JPL with your Saturn mission report.
View all Videos